Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Part 3 - The Future

What will the UI (user interface) look like when you are 30 years old?

It would take form as an iphone kinda of design with phone and computer functions with added features such as the slide solar panel to make it energy efficient because in 15 years i would imagine the world to be more energy efficient. It would have a multi touch extension which will enable you to do everything such as browse through the web and files just by touch.

The other feature is the slide projector that when activated it would project high definition immerse cave that you coould use to work with also like a touch screen which works by detection hand movements.

Part 2 - User Interface

Complete a variety of labelled screenshots which illustrate the differences between these user interfaces.

Windows (WIMP – windows, icons, menus, pointers – as in MSOffice 2003)

Sugar (Frame replaces menubar, Journal replaces file system hierarchy, Community – didn’t work for us,)

Linux command line (similar to DOS)

Windows ( This new version does away with menus and toolbars and replaces them with new paradigms such as the Ribbon, Contextual Tabs, and Galleries)

The User interface i prefer is windows because i have grown up with windows and i think it is the easiest for me to understand and use while others are difficult to get used to. I also reckon that windows has a more organized look unlike sugar where your icons are everywhere and hidden with journal and such.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Part 1 -Evaluation

During our year 10 control tech class we have done a variety of things for this semester and i blogged about them. Below are the things we have done and links to my blogs for them plus my personal rating that i have given for each section.

Part 1

Guest speaker: Rosemary about Timor Leste Rate : 4/5

Guest speak: Joel about the xo Rate: 4.5765

Physics Rate : 5/5

SVG icon and Linux command line Rate: 4.33/5

Turtle Art Rate: 5/5

Other activity evaluation Rate 3.987/5

Etoys Rate 3.456/5

Scratch Rate 4.68/5

Part 2

Three things that you learnt:
Three things that i have learnt are how to use Sugar Operating System, how to hack Sugar and how to use various activities in Sugar.
Three things that you enjoyed:
Three things i have enjoyed are working with Sugar, Working with turtle art and working on Physics.
Three things that you didn’t like :
Three things i did not enjoy are blogging (XD), Sugar freezing while you're working and Working with the messy "Etoys" activity.

Part 3

State which was the following with reasons:
Working with Sugar Operating System because it was something new for me.
worst: Blogging because it was very time consuming.
most interesting : Exploring new Sugar activities because it was interesting, finding out the activity's unique features
most difficult:
Working with Etoys because it's an unorganized version of scratch

Part 4
Is the X.O or O.L.P.C a good idea for the children of the developing world? State your opinion and give reasons.

Yes, I believe it is because it gives children in developing countries a chance to experience the technology of computers because i can't imagine what i'd do without my computer. I have grown up with computers, so they should have an opportunity to experience this wonderful thing called the "computer/laptop"

Sunday, November 22, 2009

scratch - Calculator simulator (addition)

Our task in Control Tech was to work in pairs and do the same task both on scratch and Etoys. My partner was Mr.Unknown and we had the task of creating a calculator type program that simulates two numbers for addition and we would need to input an answer for that and then it would tell us if our answer was right or wrong.My job was to do this on scratch.

I did this task by creating 4 variables, they were for the 1st number, 2nd number, actual answer and our own answer. I started by making the 1st and 2nd number variables generate random numbers each time i clicked the "new sum" sprite that i created.

I then created an answer sprite and when clicked it would either switch to a costume that said incorrect or correct depend if you were right or wrong. This was made possible by the "If" command; If input number= 1st number + 2nd number "switch to costume 2" which would mean correct and if the incorrect it was exactly the same except i used the "Not" command ( If "Not" input number= 1st number + 2nd number "switch to costume 3". If the answer was wrong the answer variable would show the right answer.

I also made the "New Sum" sprite reset everything by using broadcast. So when clicked it would broadcast "reset" and then i used the command "When i receive :reset" then set number variables to random, answer and input answer variable to 0 and "answer" sprite back to costume 1 which read answer.

I did not find this task difficult at all because scratch is an easy to use program with its simple layout and lego-like scripts.

My "answer" sprite script
Before answer check:

Click this link for the Etoys version of this; By Mr.Uknown :

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sugar - Colours activity

Our class has been trying some new games.

Activity – Colours
Personal rating – 3.95/5

Colours, is an activity similar to paint except the drawings you made are able to be played back to you so that you can see how you've drawn something.

The positives of this activity are that it allows a user to see their progression after they've drawn a picture. It is a fun program for people who enjoy drawing as this activity has a play back feature that no other common drawing programs, such as Photoshop and Paint would have.

The negatives of this activity are that there are not as much drawing tools as the other drawing programs and the brush options to change colour and change its opacity were hard to find.

In my opinion I thought it was an interesting game, simply because of its play-back feature and I have also had experience with drawing with a mouse at home.

This is a good activity for practicing your art skills because it allows you to see your errors. It is also good to help you explore when using a new activity because most the features are pretty hidden.

I would recommend this programs to all ages and for all art lovers.
My drawing i did:

The screen you work on :
Half way finished while at playback mode:

Final product :

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sugar - Etoys Activity

For the past 2 weeks our control tech class had been working with the activity from sugar, Etoys. Etoys is an activity that allows us to animate pictures that we draw by using scripts. In each script we put in commands, similar to the turtle activity; commands such as forward and turn by a specified number. We could also change the speed in which an object moved either by a set number or random.

Our task was to draw cars and make it move and do this according to each task. All the tasks involved cars or race cars.

One of the tasks was to simulate a car race using many commands from the command window. We had to use variables for the cars speed and make it random and we also had to make a time variable to create a time that started and stopped whenever the race started and ended.

The cars were able to stop using the "Test" command which allowed a car to do certain things whenever a colour on the car touched another colour (both colours are chosen by us). In this racing case the test command made all scripts (time scripts, cars scripts) stop whenever one car won the race.

All cars had to move on their own. This was made possible by using another test. That test would work by if the colour on the car touches the colour of the sides of the lane it would bounce and turn left or right depending on what side it bumps into (If it hit the right side it would bounce left to put it back in place).

We also had to make a timer to time how long the race went for and it would stop when the race ended. It was pretty simple, we just had to make a time variable and make a script telling it to increase its value by 1 each second.

All this is started by a start button which we could create. It was simple to create a start button because the script for the start button only consisted of "start" commands, starting all scripts (time scripts, car scripts).

We also had to make a reset button, similar to start except it would put all cars and time to its original position and value. I used a script type called "World" because that way it was able to start the same scripts if they were under the same script names and I found that this way was easier. To reset the positions of each car we had to go to each of their command boxes ( a window with commands) and take their coordinates X, Y and heading so that when the reset button is pressed the car would return to those coordinates and facing/heading the same direction. The time would have to reset to 0 as well, which was done by putting values of 0 from the timer variable into the script.

This is my script of the great race, racing 4 cars with all random speeds.
My thoughts on Etoys are that it was pretty simple and easy to follow. The only problem was that we could not view the script while the race started because it would have gotten in the way with the test commands and it would just put the cars off course.
The race without the script in the way.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sugar - Turtle art activity

Our class spent about three weeks looking at the activity, Turtle art on the sugar operating system.

Turtle art is an activity that allows a user to create pictures/shapes using various commands and values using a little turtle icon as the pen (e.g. forward 100 would move the turtle 100 steps forward from where it was). To get a command to work you had to double click on the command. Every command has bumps on them so that many other commands could join up with each other like Lego pieces. Once commands were joint together when we double clicked it all the commands would act at once.

This is the panel containing all the functions and commands:

There are also two modes, turtle mode (slow) and rabbit mode (fast). The rabbit mode made it so that with a click the shape co ordinates are drawn in immediately. The turtle mode made it so that we could view the movements of the turtle and that gave us a better understanding of what was going on.

Our 1st task was to create shapes that were shown on a page we were given and we would receive marks depending on the difficulty of shapes that we did. All shapes had to be drawn using one click instead of us clicking one command at a time and drawing it. To make it so we wouldn't have a long line of different direction commands, a function called repeat made this easier. This function had a value box next to it and whatever number was inside it, the repeat command would repeat whatever was under it, the number of times specified by us. Using one click prevented the lost of step because there was no way to undo something, we had to simply clear the whole shape and do it again. There were also other commands that did their own unique thing.

After we had gotten used to drawing more difficult shapes we were ask to add variables to draw shapes. A function called 'store in box' made a number variable of our choice. Next to every direction command there was always a value telling the turtle how far to travel, if that value were to be replaced with a 'box ' command then the value changes to whatever was in the 'store in box' command. This was helpful for changing a shape's size because we could just change the number in the 'store in box' and it would change the size of the shape depending on the number placed in the command without have to go to each value and changing their numbers.

The shape i drew on Turtle art using variables:

The command script i used to create the shape:

All the shapes we did had to be extremely perfect and precise to what the pictures on the sheet looked like, therefore when adding variables we must made sure we used divide and multiply commands in order to keep a shapes dimensions. Some shapes may only have looked the same but they weren't exactly perfect. There were two ways to work out what values were needed in order to create a shape which could change in size and still keep it's correct dimensions. First was to use trial and error and we had to simply guess each value until we got it correct. The other way was to use mathmetics and actually calculate the values. I mostly used trial and error because i was too lazy to do the maths but in the end i found that using maths i got a much more accurate shape.

Tutle art:

My thoughts on Turtle art is that at first it was hard to understand but I gradually began to understand how things worked ad i became easier for me. It was enjoyable working with this activity although the sugar occasionally froze when we tried to save a finished shape.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Creating own sugar icon

Learning about SVG (scalable vector graphic), we were told to create our own sugar icon using the same concept as an SVG. An SVG is a picture format which is small in size and uses maths to create its unique property. It's unique property is that when re sized, an SVG does not lose it's picture quality and pixelates.

Using Html kit we learnt about basic x and y co-ordinates of simple shapes, lines and curves and a 55 by 55 grid. We had done a few practices using coordinates to draw in shapes and lines. using what we had learnt it was then time to create our own icon to that we could later use that picture and put it onto the sugar operating system as our icon.

This is my icon i made using a few straight line co-ordinates and many curve/arc co-ordinates ;viewed on opera an internet browser:

After finishing our icon, all we had to do was using terminal activity on sugar to insert the picture as the icon. We could then make it change colour to what ever we wanted and demonstrating that we have done this to our teacher. Below is a screenshot of what my changed icon looks like, a bat looking creature.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

physics- make a game

As a group or single our task was to create a game using the activity 'Physics' on sugar. Me, Airsokand DarkDragon had created this game.

The aim of the game is to try and get three balls of any size (your choice) and using the rubber band like tool to throw the ball over the wall and get the ball to land on either of the three platforms which have points on them (5,10 and 20 points). The ball must be on one of the three long platforms in order for the point to count. Once all three balls have been thrown it is the next player's turn to throw.

After all players have had a shot throwing the points of each player is added up and the person witht he highest total in the end is the winner.

My views of this game is that it can be quite challenging trying to get the 20 points.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Joel Stanley's Talk

Today Joel Stanley came to answer some of our questions.

Joel Stanley is a student at the University of Adelaide studying computer system engineering or electrical engineering. Electrical engineering is all the hardware of a computer/laptop not software. Joel had decided he wanted to study this in year 10 when he was at a camp. He learnt to touch type through msn and prefers Linux over Windows because Windows annoys him.

He was working on a 10 week project involving the XO’s, the laptops I mentioned in my other blogs. He was testing their resistance against certain things such as heat and if they were dropped. He cooked them at 65 degrees using a kettle and testing if they still worked because some of the developing countries have temperatures that high, so they would have to make sure it could endure heat. It was also tested and proven that it is drop proof and Joel even demonstrated that to us. His main focus was on testing the power usage of the XO’s. Testing out how much each part uses and developing ways to lower the usage if required. The display used the most power on the XO followed by the CPU.

He went to places to further develop this project. He went to Massachusetts institution of Technology and Romania to talk to children about the XO, about why they exist and the benefits of the XO. Many of the kids were unaware of these things. He was also at America for 3 months. There was a project in America called the give one get one where you buy two XO’s and one was for you keep while the other once had to be donated to a child in a developing country. Joel was also part of the Google Summer of Code which paid university students to work on an open source project. He found that he did not see this as work but more of helping children change their lives and it was enjoyable to him, and if he could he would go and do it again.

Joel also met many talented people. He met Mary Lou who invented the screen for the XO and Richard Smith who made the low level software of the XO. Mary Lou was actually once working on project to project adverts onto objects and she was aiming to project it on the moon so that people could see. There was also two 10 year old children who were able to take apart the Xo and fix it which shows how simple the design of a XO is. The XO has only 8 screws all the same size (So only need one screw driver) and is basically a three part laptop (The Motherboard, Display and Casing).
The XO laptops wireless receivers in their clips on the sides of the screens and i thought that doing this was very clever. Unfortunately there have been no plans to sell these Xo laptops in stores for everyone’s use, it is designed only to be used by the developing countries.

The Children who were disassembling the laptops can be seen on this youtube link:

Friday, July 31, 2009

Sugar- Memorize Activity

1st August
Today i am trying the Activity, Memorize Activity.

Memorize Activity is a match the cards type of game where you click one square and another and they reveal themselves. once you click another square the two go back to being concealed. Once you get two matches the two correctly matched squares light up a colour and stay there. You repeat until all matches are found.

The game can also be altered in difficulty by selecting how many squares you want. options are 4x4, 5x5 and 6x6. There are also choices in what type of matching you want. Choices are matching maths sums, matching noises and matching Letters.

This game is designed to train the mind into memorising things and help develop memory. Overall i think this game is very good for training the mind but it gets boring because things get repetitive.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Timor Leste Presentation

Today two people, Rosemary and David came to talk to us about their involvement in the X.O project and their time in Timor Leste, 1 hour above Darwin. Along with them were Seriar, a principle and Syntus who was taught by seriar how to speak English and now Syntus works as an interpreter. The country is not very big, it is 90 km from North to South, about a 12 hour trip on road and 25 minute by plane. It is considered as a third world country close to the equator with tropical weather and everyone arrives at a dock. Their national language is Portugal, but their local language is Tetum.

In 1975 the Indonesian people took over and later pulled out in 1999 and had left destruction to the country. During the civil war there were a lot of massacres and the people during that time set up huts which some of the locals now use for shelter. The huts were only made of local materials and they even make their own cutting tools such as machetes and axes, though they aren’t used as weapons but as tools. Along a road there are the Australian army, they work to keep peace around the town. Their main transport was by scooter and their currency is in US dollars. It is hard to find leisure in the country for foreigners who go there because of low entertainment sources. There is a store designed to supply the needs for foreigners like us to please our needs such as furniture and normal food we usually eat. Mosquito nets are always put up to prevent malaria, a disease caused by mosquitoes and they love to hang around humid areas.

Many tourists visit the beaches as it is a popular tourist attraction. The foreigners (anyone who are not pure bred there) are known as “Mallai” to the locals. Though in the waters there lurk many crocodiles which often worries to people. Many Brazilians go there to help the development of their country because they can easily communicate them in Portugal.

We have skills to help their technology and we must make sure we can guide them to further develop their community making sure we don’t make the mistake of giving them too much and not telling them how to use it or giving things that aren’t necessary to them. We must help them in a way that we give the essentials and we must make sure what we give them is benefitting them.

Many Missionaries come to this country to help develop many things. Missionaries are people who have been sent to help the development of the town. Education is among these needing of development and is highly worked on as they have a poor education system. Many of the locals have had no exposure to English. Education over there is not like ordinary school that we are used to, they go to school and get taught verbally, without using any books, paper or pens and there is no electricity which doesn’t help with the hot weather. That is why schools are run only in the early mornings when it is still quite cool. Electricity is also poor because they can get occasional black outs. Their diet consists of all the naturally grown foods such as rice and fruits.

The main thing that has been developing is their knowledge, understanding and involvement in technology. The ITNGO (Information Technology No Government Organization) forum is helping there to supply Internet access to the local people. Using the VOIP (voice over Internet protocol) system the people are able to gain Internet access at a low price and David had been running a teaching program to teach them how to use the phone to connect to the Internet. Phones were like strange things to the locals because they had not seen one before and when they were taught how to use one they thought it was quite funny. Only the rich people have been able to afford mobiles but they were bought because of their “cool factor”

As I mentioned in my first blog about the X.O laptops being part of the OLPC (One laptop Per Child) plan to supply one of those laptops to every child in developing countries, this is one of the developing countries that have been offered these laptops. The laptops can be used for their education and help them use them as books. It would be a much more efficient way of learning and it can even be solar powered, which is a great function to have since they have low electricity. During this program questions about whether the children would cherish these laptops or not were debated and they strongly believed that they would care for it. David, Rosemary and others were also deciding if should make them leave their laptops at school or take them home and believed that they should be able to take them home.

The Greenpc, a Melbourne based company was also there to help out with the advancement of technology. They went there to train a selected group of local people how to fix up computer and how to sell them, and how to make and run a business out of them.

Locals were even taught how to make roofs and how to nail them down at the right angle etc. The jobs the locals did were sometimes dangerous and with no Occupational Health and Safety Nothing would help them if they got hurt during work. They also had no insurance which meant if their houses got damaged they would have no way to repair it unless they had enough money of their own. There is a pilot from the Mission Australia Fellowship who flies around spotting any accidents that may occur and rescuing them, e.g. people fallen off a tree or crocodile attacks.

There were nuns who went to help the teenage girls there, skills on hospitality, cooking and more. They have no churches neither did they have a sense of what their god was so some people went and taught them about Christian ways.

The locals are bright just need to be taught how to do things.

Sugar - Physics

27th July

Today I'm trying out the activity "Physics"

Physics allows you to draw shapes or create them using various tools. There is a play and stop button stopping and starting gravity. When played, all the shapes would fall down as though they were real life solid objects. When stopped all the shapes stay still as though they would in any drawing program.

There are also other tools used to delete shapes, rotate any shapes, keep them still in one place, connect shapes or move them as though they were attached to an elastic piece of string.

Many games can also be created using this activity.

Overall i think this activity is a great activity to use when wanting to have some fun playing with gravity and shapes. Although it does have a problem of not being able to save.

Friday, July 24, 2009

My impression on "sugar" Operating System

Sugar is an operating system from X.O with off-line and online activities. Sugar I used for a small laptop (X.O) which looks like a children’s laptop worth $180 dollars U.S. The Organizations in developing countries plans to give these laptops out for every child as the OLPC (One laptop per child) project.

My first impression on Sugar was that it was pretty hard to find all the icons/buttons because it some of the functions were hidden. Some of the icons are hard to understand, but when explained to i got the hang of things. The games were enjoyable and entertaining and easy to play because of many different things such as puzzles, speeches, animations, memory games, free cell, python program and many more.

Overall it was a good operating system with unique functions and i look foward to working with sugar in the future.